Cybercrime is amongst serious problems that most developed countries are finding hard to eliminate. The fact that more measures are being put in place by government agencies doesn’t mean that the violations are coming to a halt. In fact, the fraud is taking a different role. The following are the most common types of cybercrimes.
- Major Types of Cybercrimes You Should Know With Infographics
- 1. Tax Refund Fraud
- 2. Corporate account takeover
- 3. Sensitive data collection
- 4. Robbery of intellectual property
Major Types of Cybercrimes You Should Know With Infographics
1. Tax Refund Fraud
Tax refund fraud is one of the major types of cybercrimes that has been in existence for decades. In October 2012, an incident was published in an article where a small group of perpetrators was charged for filling 5,000 false tax returns. The criminals used social security numbers of deceased taxpayers to acquire refunds worth $14 million.
How was the tax refund fraud done?
Well, using either social engineering or email phishing. The cybercriminals managed to acquire the names and social security numbers of the deceased. Then went ahead and withheld the information, claiming for tax credits which allowed them to generate huge returns electronically.
2. Corporate account takeover
In 2008, there was this new crime that was discovered — corporate account takeover. This is the most conspiratorial burglary. What cybercriminals do here is getting hold of an entity’s financial credentials, then use softwares to remotely hack the computer and steal money. It’s not just huge companies, though – without a good internet security suite and an acute security awareness about the dangers of cybercrime, anyone can have their finances compromised in this manner. It’s just that wealthy companies are the first logical target for hackers looking to get rich quick through illegal means.
Acquisition of the login credentials
The criminals tend to use a malicious program, such as trojans, that come in the form of an email attachment or a file transfer, to lure the victim into downloading it without suspecting anything.
Gaining access to the victim’s computer
The cybercriminals will then get unauthorized access to the victim’s computer using a hacker tool, which will then allow them to carry out wire transfers from the victim’s account.
The cybercriminals will now transfer all the money to individuals, also known as the money mules. The mule will then transfer the money to a different account, probably in a bank where fewer rules or protocols are followed. Most of such banks are found overseas.
Which corporates are the most targeted by cybercriminals?
The SMBs are the most targeted because they do pay less attention to risk assessments, security information, and controls. This makes them more vulnerable than commercial businesses. Individuals conducting online banking transactions such as chief financial officers (CFO) and chief accounting officers (CAO) are also frequent targets.
3. Sensitive data collection
Sensitive data such as personally identifiable information, business trade secrets, unencrypted credit card information, employee records, and source codes can attract cybercriminals. Robbing a company such sensitive data can lead to its downfall within a short time.
How is the fraud carried out?
The process is simple. The criminal only targets the customer’s personal data files and steals them. They copy this data to a flash and sell it to a competitor.
For instance, in 2002 an incident occurred at South Carolina Department of Revenue when thieves accessed a computer system and managed to get away with 3.6 million social security numbers and about 387,000 credit/debit cards.
What made the crime successful in this case?
First, the security of the South Carolina Department of Revenue was weak. Secondly, it took the organization too long to discover the breach, hence creating an opportunity for more losses.
4. Robbery of intellectual property
Copyrighted materials such as movies, books, and music are all examples of intellectual property. According to an article in the New York Times, China is without any doubts leading the intellectual property theft. The article explains in depth how Chinese hackers have successfully stolen pricing documents, product blueprints, manufacturing plans, and trial results from large companies in the United States.
How do the cybercriminals do it?
When it comes to intellectual property, cybercriminals are goal oriented. They mostly focus on either confiscating the material or using it in an authorized manner. For instance, they hack and access entertainment property such as movies and books, then sell it without authorization and regardless of the copyright laws.
What is the primary factor contributing to intellectual property theft?
Any feature that can be moved, adjusted or downloaded on the internet is a loophole to intellectual theft. Therefore, clients should ensure that strict security and privacy measures are put in place to reduce these dangerous and unlawful acts.